Opening in theaters this week, MGM's Operation Finale, brings to life one of the most daring covert operations in modern history. Under the direction of Chris Weitz (About A Boy) and starring Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, Schindler's List) and Golden Globe winner Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, X-Men: Apocalypse), the film vividly captures the ingenious and brilliantly executed mission to capture Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief architects of the Holocaust.
"I think it's very close to what Rudyard Kipling envisioned, which was an enormous leap in his imagination -- a child literally living with and talking with animals." That's how Sir Ben Kingsley described his first impressions of Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK as he joined a group of 25 writers for some discussion leading into the film's record-breaking recent release. "With all respect to its predecessor in the '60's, that was an animated cartoon child talking to animated cartoons, but this is a little boy, and we are blessed with him. Neel [Sethi] is amazing! What you see is he's with animals, which is wonderful!" In the film, Sir Ben provides the voice of Bagheera, a black panther that helps raise Mowgli, serving somewhat as an overseer after placing the young man-cub in the care of wolves Rashka (voiced by Lupita Nyong'o) and Akela (voiced by Giancarlo Esposito). "I didn't see him as a father figure at all," recalls Sir Ben, "But I did see him in military terms as if I was training a young cadet into how to survive in, in particular circumstances. "
There was a time as a kid growing up, when I, like so many, had dreams of attending a "Hollywood Premiere." You saw it on television - the excitement, the stars, the glamour, the ideals that one typically thinks of as being "Hollywood." As an adult, my life and career has gone in many directions, and often in waves. I went after a serious career as a screenwriter and film director for awhile, aspirations that didn't quite work out as planned (or promised - long story) - but I did find some work as an actor and occasional crew member, and those are skills that still serve me well today as "The Rock Father," a position where sometimes it feels like I have to be everything. I still direct and edit music videos, I can't shut up write daily, I pop-up on-camera on YouTube (and sometimes television), but the closest I'd ever come to attending a Hollywood Premiere was back in 2002, when my wife and I attended the "green carpet" premiere of Pete Jones' Matt Damon/Ben Affleck-produced STOLEN SUMMER, the first movie to come out of HBO's PROJECT GREENLIGHT, when it made a huge debut at the Chicago Theatre. But my main gig now is that of a work-from-home parent, so how, in 2016, am I in Lake County, Illinois one day - then walking the red carpet at The World Premiere of Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK in Hollywood the next? Well, my life is wonderfully strange sometimes, and my I've been very fortunate to be in a position that allows for somewhat uncommon adventures.
Having worked on movies in my "past lives," I would've never imagined that becoming a parent and starting this website would pull me back into that world, working things in a different capacity - from a different angle - and being placed into a position where others could share in the experience virtually through all of the social networks. But that's what's happened, and one of my biggest supporters with THE ROCK FATHER Magazine has been The Walt Disney Company, regularly inviting me to cover their projects (bringing me into Los Angeles on Mickey's dime, disclosure and all) and be a part of their promotional efforts. While each adventure is different, each is equally as exciting in its own way (though attending the Global Press Event for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS may not be topped for me), and what's happening next week is no exception. I will join 24 other writers in L.A. for the #JungleBookEvent, interviewing the filmmakers and talent from the upcoming live-action reimagining of THE JUNGLE BOOK (in theaters April 15), an adventure that will be culminating in attending the red carpet premiere at the El Capitan Theatre - but that's not all...